Yesterday after church, we had to run to Target to grab a few things. As we went through the aisles, all Baby Gray could talk about was Santa this and Santa that.
Now, we don’t not participate in “Santa” so much as we just don’t make it our focus. We still go see him and take a photo (last year we took him cookies and a candy cane while we were there); we leave him milk and cookies before we go to bed Christmas Eve. In our home, Santa is someone who is very generous and helps us spread the joy of Jesus’ birthday. We’re not anti-Santa. We’re also not pro-commercial Santa. We’re some balance somewhere in the middle.
Even though he is only three, I have to say I was a bit disheartened at my son’s proclamations of all Santa was going to do for him. Where ever this notion came from, it didn’t take long to become a central focus for our boy. I have no idea where he heard the things he was saying. We have never told him to ask Santa for “this” or “that,” with regards to toys, books, etc (he also doesn’t watch TV with commercials at our home). I helped him recount Baby Jesus’ birthday cake from last year and how much fun it was to celebrate the birth of Jesus. He remembered but quickly diverted back to the Santa talk.
We will be spending our time very intentionally in the coming weeks re-routing our focus for the Advent and Christmas season. I already had plans for some special visits from our Elf on the Shelf (a gift that I didn’t really use last year for all of these same reasons). He will be bringing us special assignments to spread encouragement and generosity throughout the month of December. We also have a girl our family will be providing Christmas gifts for that Baby Gray will be heavily involved in selecting and delivering with us (he’s already excited about it). I can’t wait to start our Christmas traditions and dive in head first to the real reason for the season!